Appointment of the Head of Digital Delivery

Welcome

Thank you very much for expressing an interest in the role of Head of Digital Delivery at Solent University, Southampton.

With a strong track record of innovation and creativity, Solent has grown to become one of the leading new universities, with strong local roots as well as a renowned international reputation. We have embedded ties in the city, local region and beyond, and strive to make a significant contribution to the communities we serve, while putting our students at the heart of everything we do.

These are exciting times for our University, we are uniquely positioned to drive digital innovation to achieve the key ambitions that will bring our new strategic plan, Solent Future Ready, to life.

By 2025 we will be providing a growing number of students from a wide range of backgrounds with a life affirming and life changing education, enriched by a vibrant university culture of research, free speech, equal opportunities, knowledge exchange and partnerships. And when our students leave us, they will be graduating with the knowledge and skills to achieve their ambitions, and the passion and confidence to shape the future.

This role represents an exciting opportunity to re-imagine our relationship with technology, driving a step change that defines Solent as a vibrant digital business, able to flourish, outpace competition, and achieve the ambitions of Solent Future Ready.

Paul Colbran
Chief Operations Officer

About us

To deliver our strategy, achieve our vision and ensure our students and the University are ready for the future, we are shaping our work around three key priorities:

1. Student success;

2. Research and knowledge exchange;

3. Engaging with our communities.

For us, student success means ensuring our students are ready for the future world of work, enterprise, and volunteering. We offer a portfolio of exciting, modern and academically rigorous degree courses with employment-focused, real-world learning that prepares students to succeed in their chosen profession, vocation or enterprise.

Through our research and knowledge exchange, we strive for real-world learning, real-world research and real-world impact. This means that the successes of our students and our engagements with our communities are shaped and inspired by our applied research and knowledge exchange.

We are committed to having a positive role in shaping the future of Southampton and beyond, and to delivering opportunities for our students, staff and alumni to be part of that regional success. Public engagement is in our DNA, and at the start of 2021 we signed the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement’s (NCCPE) Manifesto for Public Engagement and have committed to working with NCCPE to review our current public engagement strategies, activities and staff support.

As we build on our students’ and the University’s successes, we will seek further opportunities to grow and improve whilst remaining focused on creating a university that is sustainable and which fosters equal opportunities. To do this, we must maintain our financial resilience and ensure we are underpinned by a culture that will allow us to change, adapt and focus on the future.

Solent University is all about creating opportunities: for its students, for its staff, for its partners. It offers expertise and experiences you couldn’t get anywhere else, opening doors and making introductions.

We’re focused on the practical side of higher education – giving our students the connections, experience and confidence to turn their newfound knowledge into a career with real, meaningful impact. Whoever you are, whatever your goals, we want to help you make your mark.

We are dedicated to the pursuit of university education that enables learners from all backgrounds to become enterprising citizens and responsible leaders. We are committed to promoting economic and social prosperity for the communities we serve.

Put simply – we want Solent graduates to be the passionate, creative professionals of the future, bringing expertise and energy into their communities and workplaces.

UNIVERSITY VALUES

Respect: Respecting each other, recognising others’ strengths and celebrating our diversity so that everyone can give their best.

Ownership: Owning and being accountable for delivering a welcoming and professional service and working with pace and commitment to deliver objectives and support strategic priorities.

Inclusivity: Ensuring through our teaching, support and work that we are inclusive, underpinning all the work we do at the University.

Engagement: Engage with focus, drive and enthusiasm to deliver excellent teaching, new initiatives and objectives, setting an example and motivating others to engage as appropriate.

Integrity: Act with professionalism and honesty in all our dealings with each other, our students, suppliers and partners of the University.

Teamwork: Working effectively and collaboratively and being united in delivering the priorities of the University in everything we do.

Click here for more information on the University and our 2025 Strategy.

Digital strategy

Our vision

To re-imagine our relationship with technology, driving a step change that defines Solent as a vibrant digital business, able to flourish, outpace competition, and achieve the ambitions of Solent Future Ready.

Introduction

Our Digital Strategy sets Solent on a journey to leapfrog sector competition by embracing digital first and becoming a data centric operation. That means step changes in our use of technology, transforming our relationship with data, accelerating our appetite for positive disruption and cultural change, and driving excellence in our digital people and leadership. Our strategy will also address the rock-solid foundations pre-requisite to these ambitions – the most far reaching aspirations we have ever defined.

For Solent to thrive, our students and staff must be propelled to success by the best digital services and experiences for learning, teaching, and research. That means extensive change in every part of our operation, and deliberate disruption of the status quo, from digitalising student experience, through modernising our workplace tools, to innovating new capabilities that, previously, we didn’t know we needed.

With a substantial capital investment, and an unprecedented requirement for cultural shift, our new digital strategy is designed both to set a stable foundation, and accelerate our business over the next five years, to build a vibrant, confident, unstoppable Solent.

The role

Head of Digital Delivery

Job reference:
AQ1557

Job title: Head of Digital Delivery
Reports to: Chief Operations Officer
Grade: Management
Responsible for: 4-6 direct reports
Hours of work: 37

Job purpose

Reporting to the Chief Operations Officer, the Head of Digital Delivery will be responsible for leading delivery of the University’s Digital Strategy ensuring digital change is delivered effectively and realises the opportunity that investment in technology can bring to the University.  The postholder will be an advocate for digital delivery and shape, drive and implement digital development and execution to transform student and staff experience.  The HODD will lead the delivery of the Solent Future Ready (SFR) digital programme incorporating agile delivery, continuous improvement, and business change initiatives.

Key responsibilities

  • To deliver Solent Future Ready (SFR) digital dependent workstreams and projects.
  • To lead on the development of the University’s digital capabilities that will improve efficiency and productivity, automate processes, improve data availability and quality and enable the University to scale at pace through modern digital systems and tooling.
  • To lead on the development of the University’s business intelligence and data platform services ensuring high-quality business information for internal decision making and insight
  • To build capabilities by reviewing resource plans, build effective cross-functional relationships at all levels across the organisation.
  • To lead on contract management of a range of technology suppliers and partners.
  • To build a high performing and motivated team that will deliver world-class digital services by driving a culture of collaboration, partnership, focus on business outcomes.
  • To be a key advisor and champion for digital initiatives across the University partnering with business units to deliver business plans.
  • To develop and enhance the University’s technology governance including architecture, change control, security, planning, disaster recovery and business continuity.
  • Ensuring as it grows and develops as an organisation the University operates high standards of technology assurance.
  • To own the strategies, roadmaps and delivery plans that will ensure the University meets its business plans and strategic objectives using suitable technology solutions.
  • To develop the necessary operational processes and activities that will ensure high-quality technology services enabling the University to deliver on business objectives with minimal risk.
  • Exploit technology to improve products and services that centre on student outcomes maintaining a proper balance between business and technology strategies
  • To promote and progress a collaborative culture across the University, leading and driving our approach to digital change and delivery to ensure alignment to our business goals.
  • Develop, track and control annual operating and capital budgets.
  • Creating safeguards that prevent security breaches and protect the integrity of university information.

Leadership responsibilities

  • Improving data quality across university systems including the appropriate handling of data in accordance with established University policies and procedures.
  • To safeguard the integrity of data by ensuring the accurate input of data into university systems, including the appropriate handling of data in accordance with established University policies and procedures. In addition, implement adequate staff training and supervision to ensure the accuracy and integrity of data is maintained.
  • Ensuring the University’s Health and Safety policies and procedures are adhered to.
  • Responsible for encouraging and implementing good risk management practice in accordance with the University’s policies and procedures.
  • A responsibility to engage with the University environmental and sustainability to reduce our carbon footprint, waste, and energy conservation.
  • Demonstrate and encourage the University values of Respect, Ownership, Inclusivity, Engagement, Integrity and Respect.
  • Demonstrate the University’s Leadership Behaviours of The Power of We, Communication, Authenticity, Role Modelling, Recognition and Empowerment.
  • Any other ad-hoc duties appropriate with the post.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Qualifications

  • Educated to Postgraduate Masters level or experience of working at an equivalent level in a specialist area.
  • Qualifications in a relevant professional discipline preferred
  • Evidence of commitment to personal CPD.

Knowledge

  • Operation of modern technical structures, agile methodologies and quality management systems.
  • Excellent knowledge of corporate systems and data systems trends.

Experience

  • Proven experience in a similar executive leadership role demonstrating a track record of technology innovation, design, development, and implementation.
  • Shaping and leading agile delivery, digital products, designing operating models and creating transformation roadmaps
  • Proven track record of successful delivery of complex, high-profile programmes that cross multiple teams.
  • Experience of budgetary management and business-planning
  • Strong team building experience, both direct and through cross-functional teams.
  • Delivering value to stakeholders through technology and digital services.
  • Significant experience in a development architecture or service management leadership role, with proven customer value.

Skills

  • Communicating complex IT/Digital strategy to non-technical stakeholders at all levels of the organisation.
  • Coaching, training, and mentoring in Lean Agile and related methodologies.
  • Expert facilitation skills for programme planning and product vision.
  • Strategic thinking and strong business acumen.
  • Effective negotiation and vendor management skills.
  • The ability to translate the enterprise architecture into effective solutions via a sensible use of both technology and solution architecture concepts.
  • Able to adjust communication style to changing situations and tailoring to individual stakeholders – working readily at VCG and team level or with external stakeholders.

Terms of appointment

The University expects to pay circa £80,000 to the successful candidate.

We offer a range of workplace benefits, including:

  • competitive holiday entitlement, plus statutory bank holidays;
  • a contributory pension scheme;
  • annual performance and development reviews;
  • a relocation scheme for staff who live more than 50 miles away from the University (subject to eligibility);
  • interest-free travel loans;
  • on-site gym, sporting facilities and a range of wellbeing initiatives; and
  • discounts on a range of services including healthcare, insurance, mortgages and independent financial / legal advice.

Equality & diversity

At Solent, we don’t just accept difference, we celebrate it and support it, for the benefit of our people, our students, staff and our community.

The University’s equality objectives are integral in promoting and achieving fair treatment and equality for all and as part of this, we aim to foster a community with a culture of transparency, mutual trust and respect devoid of hatred and intolerance.

University staff can join our LGBT+ staff network – a supportive social group for employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, or are questioning their sexuality or gender identity. This group also supports many events both on-campus and in the local community, including the Human Library and Southampton Pride.

Solent also has a well-established Equality and Wellbeing committee, made up of students and staff, to proactively assist us in providing an excellent people experience underpinned by our values, and our genuine commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity, irrespective of personal or protected characteristics.

This committee plays a key role in ensuring equality and diversity across the University, and leads on wellbeing initiatives, such as the introduction of our Mental Health and Wellbeing vision for both staff and students, launched earlier this year.

We believe that all our people should be treated fairly, regardless of their age, ethnicity, beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender. As part of this, Solent University is committed to continuing to work on closing the gender pay gap and is in the process of creating an updated action plan to determine the necessary steps to make this happen.

How to apply & process

Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment advisor to Solent University. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley: Sophie Rees on +44(0)7719 313 982; sophie@andersonquigley.com or Ed Pritchard on +44(0)7980 817 927; ed@andersonquigley.com

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday, 3 October 2022.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the criteria outlined in the person specification.
  • Details of two referees, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please complete the following online Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at www.andersonquigley.com/candidates using the reference number AQ1557.

Timetable

All dates are to be confirmed.

Closing date Noon, Monday 3 October 2022
Shortlisting w/c 3 October 2022
Interviews at Solent w/c 17 October 2022